Business-Cycle Conditions

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes rose 3.5 percent in August and are up 12.7 percent from a year ago, however, they are down 11.7 percent from November 2017. Declining affordability suggests that sales are unlikely to move significantly higher in the coming months.

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Two surveys on manufacturing showed positive results in September. However significant concerns remain regarding the tight labor market and rising input-cost pressures.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Housing starts rose by 9.2 percent in August. However, housing permits, an indicator of future activity, fell in the latest month, hitting the lowest level since August 2016. Combined with rising interest rates and falling affordability, the outlook for housing is deteriorating.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

The most well-known of the movies on the 2008 financial crisis is also the weakest. On the other hand, there are two wonderful films about it that deal with both the difficult times for traders and the underlying causes.

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Consumer Sentiment jumped in early September while retail sales and industrial production both posted modest gains though with mixed results among the details. Overall, the three reports suggest solid growth trends, supporting a positive outlook.

Friday, September 14th, 2018

"Karl Marx gave the world the myth that economic crises are inherent to capitalism. Yet overwhelming evidence says they result from war and political unrest, or come from natural events." ~ Antony Mueller 

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The small-business-optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business jumped to 108.8 in August, a new all-time high. Job openings also reached a new all-time high. Combined, these reports indicate on-going economic strength and support a positive outlook over the coming months and quarters.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

"A crucial reason why monetary and fiscal planners fail traces to the indicators they use as the signposts for what they may need to do are themselves false signals hiding from view the reality of the complex market system." ~ Richard Ebeling 

Friday, September 7th, 2018

U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 201,000 jobs in August bringing 12-month total to 2.33 million new jobs while hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent for a 12-month gain of 2.9 percent, the fastest since 2009. Broad-based gains in the labor market are providing support for consumer confidence, consumer spending, and the economy overall.

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The ISM’s nonmanufacturing index rose to a reading of 58.5 from 55.7 in July. The results suggest the nonmanufacturing sector continued to grow in August. That performance is in line with the report for the manufacturing sector and other recent data that point to ongoing expansion for the overall economy.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index registered a 61.3 reading in August, the highest reading since 2004. All five components of the PMI showed stronger readings in the latest month. Today’s report suggests a positive outlook for manufacturing.

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Personal income rose 0.3 percent in July while total personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.4 percent. Gains in disposable income should provide support for future increases in spending and suggest a positive outlook for the economy.

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

A new recession would not only mean lower or even negative economic growth rates, it would also induce governments to increase public spending. Then, the public debt quotient (debt over gross domestic product) would rise because of a lower denominator and a higher numerator. With the interest rate at historical lows, and the debt ratios already at the point of fiscal unsustainability, there is no space for a new stimulus.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Revised estimates show the U.S. economy grew at a 4.2 percent annual rate in the second quarter while after-tax profits rose 3.7 percent to a record $1,968.5 billion at an annual rate.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Consumer Confidence rose for the second month in a row, to the highest level since October 2000. Overall, consumer attitudes remain at historically favorable levels, suggesting support for future gains in consumer spending and overall economic growth.


Friday, August 24th, 2018

New orders for durable goods fell 0.2 percent in July, however, excluding aircraft, orders jumped 1.3 percent to a record high. The data suggest that demand remains strong and that the outlook for the economy remains positive.

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Sales of new single-family homes fell 1.7 percent in July. Slowing sales are coinciding with slowing construction suggesting new-home building is unlikely to contribute significantly to growth in coming quarters.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Sales of existing homes fell in July, the fourth consecutive decline. Declining affordability due to rising home prices and rising interest rates is likely to continue weighing on housing activity in coming quarters.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Retail sales for July rose 0.5 percent, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains. The report suggests that U.S. economic growth is maintaining strong momentum, supported by consumer spending.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose 0.7 points in July, coming in at 107.9, the second-highest in history, extending a run of 20 consecutive months above 100.